A reverse mortgage is a financial arrangement that allows you to borrow money using the equity in your home as security while you remain living there.
Home equity is the market value of your home, minus any outstanding debts you may have registered against it.
To work out whether a reverse mortgage is right for you, consider the information below.
Unlike a traditional home loan, there is no default risk with a reverse mortgage and you cannot be forcibly removed from your home by the lender.
You are also protected by law and cannot owe more than your home is worth.
Read the full list of benefits below.
- You can access additional funds to improve your retirement funding and remain living in your own home.
- Unlike other loans, you are not required to make regular repayments (though you can choose to do so to reduce the amount of interest you pay).
- Your loan is generally repaid from the future sale of your home.
- You can discharge an existing mortgage with a reverse mortgage so that you no longer need to make repayments.
- You retain ownership of your home.
- You can allow your super and other investments to recover during downturn period while still drawing a regular income.
- You cannot be forced to sell your home at any time against your will or removed from your home by the lender.
- Importantly, under the law you cannot owe lenders more than your home is worth.
- You should seek legal and/or financial advice before entering into an agreement, and providers may require you to do so.
- You should contact Services Australia to discuss the possible impact a reverse mortgage could have on your pension/benefits.
- Interest, fees, and charges apply and vary among lending institutions.
- Interest compounds and means your debt increases over time. Some providers allow you to repay interest during the term of your loan.
- When your home is sold, the provider receives the total outstanding loan amount (including the interest that has accrued), and you or your estate receive remaining proceeds.
- You have a responsibility to remain living in the home, keeping it insured, paying council rates and maintaining it.
- These products may not be available outside major cities or regional centres, and for some types of homes such as retirement villages, units or apartments.
National Seniors partners with Household Capital to help older Australians learn how they may be able to improve their retirement lifestyle by accessing some of the savings in their home.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website has a reverse mortgage calculator designed to help you see if using a reverse mortgage could be worthwhile for you. You can do a general calculation or select a specific lender and product you are considering.
Home equity can be used to improve retirement lifestyles and meet the needs of an ageing population.
Download our free Unlock your home equity for a better retirement e-guide to find out more.